Haruka Ashida, 2016
Haruka Ashida, 2016
Jessy Slim (MArch Architecture 2021)
Jessy Slim (MArch Architecture 2021)
Constanzia Hooker (MArch Architecture 2019)
Constanzia Hooker (MArch Architecture 2019)

Architecture

Architecture Department Philosophy

As many architecture programs become increasingly structured in vision and scope, Cranbrook Academy of Art remains a place where infinite possibilities exist. 

Architecture Department Philosophy

As many architecture programs become increasingly structured in vision and scope, Cranbrook Academy of Art remains a place where infinite possibilities exist. 

Since its inception nearly 90 years ago, architecture at Cranbrook has been intimately tied to materiality and spatial experimentation; ensuring that a serious study of the profession is inherently connected to the act of making. As a studio, we experiment with spatial ideas at varying scales, from the body to the city, in order to consider the impact of our work in broader social, economic, or environmental terms. 

Situated within a graduate-only art academy, we advance an interdisciplinary latitude as a fundamental aspect of learning, discovery, and developing your idiosyncratic approach to practice. 

How do we best ‘learn’ architecture, and to what end? Is architecture a body of knowledge, a way of thinking, or something else entirely? Is culture a form of curriculum? At Cranbrook, we are interested in unlearning the things we know to arrive at new models for living and working. 

Architecture

Master of Architecture Overview

Architecture

Master of Architecture Overview

Architecture

Constanzia Hooker (MArch Architecture 2019)

Architecture

Architecture

Who We Are Looking For

We welcome applicants from a broad range of backgrounds and diverse life experiences that align with our broad definition of architectural thinking and practice. Applicants come from architecture, landscape, urban design, interior design, studio art, craft, or other disciplines, but demonstrate a connection between their work and architectural ideas or approaches. As a program structured through self-directed practice, applicants should also demonstrate a strong personal motivation for the intensity and rigor of independent design research, experimental making, and peer-review critique.   

Since our founding, Cranbrook has intentionally not pursued professional NAAB accreditation to remain a space of open experimentation and independent, practice-based research. This affords us the flexibility to structure the program in unconventional ways and think expansively about architectural work.

The program is open to anyone who wants to practice within the fields of architecture and urbanism. This includes those who already hold professional registration or are interested in pursuing a practice that does not require formal licensing.

Architecture

Architecture and 4D Design students during a design sprint workshop with Visiting Artists Lawrence Azerrad and Richelle Gribble, 2022.

Architecture

Architecture

Life in the Studios

The studio is a space of immersive making, thinking, experimentation, collaboration, discussion, research, social gathering, and meals. It includes an 8,000-square-foot workshop that includes private studio spaces, a metal shop, a wood shop, a critique space, and a communal kitchen. As an industrial facility, we consider our building as a participant in the work, not just its backdrop – offering ample space to prototype ideas. Students also have open access to Academy workshops and spaces across departments. 

Our space is organized around collective themes emerging through individual studio practice. Weekly critiques are designed to establish the intellectual positioning of one’s work and offer feedback. Conversations in critique also serve to identify artists, architects, designers, and scholars to invite for workshops, studio visits, or lectures. Reading assignments and discussions are curated to expand upon the work happening in the studio and beyond the department.  

Architecture student work varies in type and scale, ranging from material studies to full-scale prototypes to landscape- and urban-based research.  The things we make resonate beyond their formal limits, and we’re keenly interested in those spaces of thought and production.

Coming 2023

LATITUDE

Architecture alumni exhibition for the 2022 Detroit Month of Design. Photo: PD Rearick

Coming 2023

Coming 2023

Cranbrook Architecture Project Office 

Cranbrook Architecture is embarking on the newest evolution of the program with the development of a project office for collaborative research, design, and making, focused on the city of Detroit. It will act as a platform for students, alumni, and collaborators to explore architectural practices to create sustainable urbanism.

Projects will frame speculative questions about the future of the city and support new models for architectural practice while serving as a resource to curate live projects, creative partnerships, and public conversations.

This initiative will not replace our deeply rooted structure of independently driven studio practice but help to develop and support our students beyond the walls of the Academy.

Architecture

Lucy McRae

Photo: Brian Kovach (Photography '21)

Architecture

Architecture

Visiting Artists, Architects, Designers, and Scholars

Each semester we curate a roster of visiting lecturers who offer new points of view, review student work, and conduct workshops. We invite established and emerging voices in order to connect us with the breadth of architectural production happening in the studio, and in the world.

Student Work

Student Work
Kapish Cheema. 2019
Student Work
Zia Hooker, 2019
Student Work
Be Chiang, 2018
Student Work
Elise Dechard, 2017
Student Work
Emily Baker, 2012
Student Work
Cheryl Baxter, 2012
Student Work
Angela Carpenter, 2012
Student Work
Brian Lee, 2012
Student Work
Songho Haam, 2014
Student Work
Charlie O'Green
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